Futurist Cinema

71 Lime Street,
Liverpool, L1 1JQ

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Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on January 21, 2019 at 10:24 am

I don’t think anybody’s said who it was built for or who the architects were.

The Lime Street Picture House was Liverpool’s third purpose-built cinema, after the Kensington Picturedrome, and the Bedford Hall in Walton. It was built by W. Wade Sykes between 19 March 1912 and September 1912 for New Century Pictures, owners of the New Century Picture Hall, not far away in Mount Pleasant, and was designed by the company’s resident architects, C.C. Chadwick & Wm. Watson, of Albion Street, Leeds.

PhilipWW on April 5, 2018 at 10:25 am

I saw THE GREAT ESCAPE and ALFIE there in the 1960s. I remember that it has a very impressive size Scope screen in its wide proscenium.

This was a better place to see a movie in than the ABC Forum over the road, which had a far smaller proscenium and was not ideal for Scope movies

PROJIE on April 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Saw a number of 70mm films there. The 70mm equipment was Philips DP70 projectors with Peerless carbon arcs. Chief operator for many years was the late Eric Norgate.

davidstirzaker on August 30, 2015 at 7:26 am

So sad it is being demolished. I was interviewed there by George Evans the district manager for ABC in 1967. At the time of my interview, the film being shown was “A Man for all Seassons”.

adamghost on May 14, 2015 at 10:38 am

Was in Liverpool to perform and took a look at this old cinema near where I was staying. What a great old building this is, sadly with foliage growing off the roof and top floor. Apparently it is slated for demolition and there is an effort underway to save it. A sign on the front of the building directs those interested to go to change.org and search for “futurist liverpool” and sign a petition.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on December 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I’ve uploaded my latest photo of the Futurist which I took today. Thought for a second it had reopened with ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ with all the plants that’s growing out of the building.I visit Liverpool at least once a year,and it looks worse every time. Please just click on Photos.

keiths on November 11, 2013 at 8:58 am


A very sad pic here…

lauharrington on October 10, 2012 at 3:46 am

.uk as my email address above doesn’t show!

lauharrington on October 10, 2012 at 3:45 am

Hi, I am directing documentary surrounding the original cinemas in Liverpool. As most of these once thriving buildings have been left to decay I am hoping to tell there stories through the people who remember them. If you would like to contribute towards my documentary (“The Dream Factory”) please email me L.HarringtonCineplex Odeon Winston Churchill 24.ljmu.ac.uk Thank you for reading, let’s tell their story. Laura

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on November 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hi Picturedrome, Iv'e finally managed to get my photo on site, thanks to Dr Beryl my niece. Please click on the photos tabs.

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

@ Picturedrome You info is correct… My Knowledge comes from 40 years waged in the business… Plus knowledge from my family, who had interests in their own theatres plus other chains. I am currently working on correcting Cinema and Theatre Myths..

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on September 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

If anybody needs correcting, it’s the late Harold Ackroyd. I soon learned not to repeat anything he said unless I could find the original source. The operating company at the year ending 31 December 1957 was the “Futurist (Liverpool) Ltd”. Alderman Alfred Levy was the Managing Director. By March 1960 it was an ABC house.

Mike_Blakemore on September 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Correction Time. 20th Century did not take over the Theatres. There was an agreement as in THX to-day.. When Cinemascope and 4 Track came out Rank would not spend the money on the instulation… So Fox went to the leading Independant in the City or Town and gave them the release if the owners spent the money on the needed alterations We did the same in Walsall (Empire) (Clifton) Wolverhampton.. Regal Leamington.. and a few others in our chain.. The Futurist and Scalas in Both Liverpool and Birmingham was controled by Alderman Levy… Liverpool Theatres sold to ABC Birmingham much laters was sold to Shipman and King which at the time ws owned by Lew Grade…

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on June 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hi, Eric. Your link doesn’t work for me. I live in Liverpool and know what you mean. It looks in a very sorry state, approaching its Centenary.

Eric Evans
Eric Evans on June 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Took this photo last week, looks in pretty bad shape now http://www.flickr.com/photos/58677517@N03/5867346800/in/photostream/

ABCEngineer on June 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

If it is of interest it was my good self whom supervised the 70mm installation. I recently found an old list of mine which shows an 80ft throw to a 36'6'‘x16’ Todd screen. (Same as Deansgate, Manchester but they had a 73' throw.) The Peerless did run a larger carbon at about 70A to allow for the 70mm frame size IIRC. I have fond memories of this theatre due to the hospitality of the staff when they even referred to me as ‘their lad’ what with being a Londoner. Famous for people ducking and hitting their heads on the seat in front when the Surrey went under the trees in the film mentioned.

Philip Picturedrome
Philip Picturedrome on September 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

The original name has just been revealed following the removal of the neon Futurist sign:
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 31, 2010 at 7:06 am

The Futurist & Scala Cinemas can be seen in these past & current photos of Lime Street:
View link
A November 2008 view, from the other direction:
View link

HowardBHaas on March 31, 2010 at 5:56 am

Ken Roe added the Scala in reply to your request


laurajade18 on March 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm

anyone have any info on the scala cinema which was next door?

AdoraKiaOra on January 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I see this great looking facade and I’m reminded of the glorious Carlton Cinema, Swansea.

Davell on May 30, 2008 at 9:58 am

The Futurist Liverpool was originally equipped with Kalee projection equipment and Ashcraft carbon arcs. Later, when the little cinema started to show 70mm films with the fantastic six track magnetic sound, it was Philips DP70 machines doing the business. Most DP70 set-ups had the Mole Richardson carbon arc delivering the illumination. Because the Futurist was a small hall, Peerless Magnarc was used instead. For many years the chief projectionist was a Mr Eric Norgate, he was there at the time of closure. He retired several years ago, his last cinema being the six screen multiplex in Chester. I remember going to the Futurist on numerous occasions to watch such films as Paint Your Wagon, The Great Race and Ryan’s Daughter.The once respendant cinema now looks in a very sorry state.

douggie on September 3, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Chelle28 please email me as I used to work there

douggie on September 3, 2007 at 12:11 pm

The fire people hold plans for safety reasons